tv U.S. Senate CSPAN December 14, 2012 5:00pm-7:00pm EST
. the designer of washington city there was a competition and he submitted design for a palace. americans are not having a palace. it was not particularly on inspiring. in fact in 1821 a european diplomat told the congress that it was neither large nor on inspiring. but the answer the congressman dave said the building served its purpose. if it were larger and more elegant, perhaps some president would be inclined to become its permanent resident. >> former new york times photo credit has gathered a few of her favorite white house fellows in the white house, the president's home and photographs of history. one sunday evening and 730 eastern and pacific on american history tv. >> as president obama begins his second term in office but is the most important issue he
>> i think they served as a window on the past to what was going on with american women. >> she becomes the chief con fa daunt the only he could trust. >> a lot of the first ladies were writers. >> they are in many cases quite frankly more interesting as human beings than their husbands if only because they are not first and foremost defined and limited by political ambitions. >> dolly was both socially adept and politically savvy. >> dolly madison loved every minute of it whereas monroe hated it, absolutely hated. >> warned her husband you know you can't rule without including what women want and what women have to contribute. >> during the statement, you were a little breathless and
too much looking down and i think it was a little too fast, not enough change of pace. >> yes ma'am. >> probably the most tragic of all of our first ladies. >> they never should have married. >> she later wrote in her memoir saying, i myself, never made any decision. i only decided what was important and when to present it to my husband. you stop and think about how much power that is that is a lot of power. >> prior to the battle gerns cancer is to fight the fear that accompanies the disease. >> she transformed the way we look at these bugaboos and she made it possible for countless people to survive and flourish as a result. i don't know how many presidents
realistically have that impact on the way we live ours lives. >> just walking around the white house grounds i am constantly reminded about all of the people who have lived there before and particularly all of the women. >> first ladies, i understand fliewns and image, a new series on c-span produced in cooperation with the white house historical association starting president's day february 18th. >> both houses of congress wrapped up the work for the week yesterday returning monday. the house gavels in noon for morning hour and two o'clock # for legislative work. there's a conference report setting out the defense department's programs and policies for 2013. also, negotiations continuing off the floor as republican house leaders and the white house work on an agreement on the so-called fiscal cliff. majority leader eric cantor reiterated yesterday the house will not adjourn until an
agreement is reached. senate in monday at two o'clock. members turning attention to a $60 billion supplemental spending bill for the people and areas affected by hurricane sandy. they'll take up and vote on several judicial nominations. watch the house live on c-span, and the senate live, here on c-span2. >> on tuesday, a hud official briefedded a senate panel about the steps the department is taking to streamline and strengthen section 8 public housing assistance programs that provide rental housing for over three million low income families. they discussed the implementation of some of the administrative and regulatory changes proposed during an august sub committee hearing. this is 40 minutes. >> i call the hearing to ore. i'd like to welcome the
honorable senator once again to the committee for her hearing entitled "proposals to streamline and strengthen hud's rental housing assistance programs." millions of american families struggle every day to afford a roof over their heads. currently a person with a full-time job needs to earn about $18.50 an hour in order to afford ad modest t bedroom ental at the national average. this is an amount far above the minimum wage or income provided by implemental security income. it's not just a problem in the largest cities in the country. the sioux falls housing and redevelopment commission, for example, has 3800 families, nearly twice the number the
agency currently serves, on the waiting list of the hud's assistance. the public rental assistant program help over 3 million households including low income seniors people with disabilities, and families with safe affordable housing. this is funded by the federal government through hud and delivered locally through a network of local and state public housing authorities or phas. despite the roles the programs play, they face a number of challenges including complex administrative procedures, the federal funding constraints that have local agencies struggling to do more with less. the strength on local agencies have become so difficult some
phas turned down hud vouchers for homeless vets or shut down completely due to a lack of administering the program. given the challenges and the nation's fiscal position that is essential that our federal programs operate effectively and first efficiently. earlier this year, senator menendez's subcommittee held a hearing to gather recommendations for improving those programs. many of those focus op common sense ideas that have been considered in both house and senate, section 8 voucher reform bills in recent years such as streamlining housing inspection schedules simplifying calculations, and l improving the ability to provide new
housing opportunities through the use of project based vouchers. some of these suggest stream line processes and hud section 8 project base rental assistant program. we have invited secretary -- assistant secretary here to share the administration's recommendations on this important topic and i look forward to learning where there may be consensus around common sense reforms that will turn to section 8 an public housing assistant programs for families, partners, and taxpayers. are there any other members -- [laughter] >> that's a good question. >> yeah do you wish to make a brief opening statement? >> mr. chairman, thank you again, for holding this hearing,
very important. welcome, madam secretary, and i look forward to your testimony thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you all and i want to remind my colleagues that the record will be open for the next seven days for opening statements and any materials who would like to submit. i will briefly introduce the honorable senator enriques the department of urban development and in this capacity has day-to-day oversite of hud's public housing and programs as well as other programs you may proceed with your testimony >> thank you and good morning. chairman johnson, ranking member
shelby, and members of the committee, thank you for letting me testify this morning on reform and voucher public housing programs. they provide critical housing assistance in communities across the nation. these programs serve extremely poor families, many of whom are elderly or disable. noise surprisingly, with the recent recession, the demand for rental assistance increased. we reck news the need to streamline and simplify the assistance programs in order to reduce the burdens on public housing authorities and increase efficiency generating cost savings where possible. in light of the persistent demand for rental housing, we're working hard to preserve public housing. my testimony today will cover three important approaches, streamlining and simplifying programs, further reforming the structure to strengthen the portfolio and increasing flexibility to respond to local housing needs.
there is broad external consensus for a number of key reforms to streamline the assistance programs. in the fiscal year 13 question there's a number of reforms around which there's consensus including consolidating the public housing family self-sufficiency programs and opening eligibility to multifamily residence. enacting a reppal policy demonstration to test the effectiveness of different policies and encouraging family, economic self-sufficiency and authorizing biapp newel inspections for housing choice voucher units to reduce administrative and financial burden. we are exploring further standards that need authority and may be worth pursuing in fiscal year 14. the commitments extends to the future of public housing as well. we recognize the importance of alining our oversight structure
with basic property management principles. small public housing authorities are existing oversight structure known as the public housing assessment system, or phas are uncertain and they pose little risk to hud and hud should scale back oversight of small agencies. in response to the concerns we have taken steps to adjust how public housing authorities are scored-under-par the system, and we are willing to change and consider other changes as well. broader reform that embraces traditional real estate management practices will bring substantial administrative relief to phas of all sizes helping to put the public housing portfolio on a more solid foundation. reform is the next step on the path established nearly a decade ago with the implementation of asset management, a system where accounting budgeting funding
and management are performed at the property level rather than the public housing level. the rental assistance demonstration a top priority of the administration, also nope as rad, addresses the contractual relationship between county authorities and hud and has the option to convert to long term project based section a contracts enabling them to leverage private investment on terms similar to those available to private property owners participating on hud's family programs. we expect rad will reverse the loss of housing unit and prereceiver the portfolio going forward. the moving to work program was authorized in 1996 as a demonstration as well to provide limited number of housing authorities with the statutory and regulatory flexibility to test practices that increase cost effectiveness reward employment and economic independence and increase housing choices for low income families.
mtw enabled housing authorities to pioneer approaches to serving homeless families, building earnings and assets achieving cost efficiencies and lev ranking private exam. for example home forward the portland housing authority, in portland oregon, used vouchers for homeless veterans, and the building is served by a full-time residences coordinator and serviced provided by the va program. flex the allows home forward to provide security deposits using housing vouchers as well. the department is pleased some of the most important stake holders from public housing authorities and low income housing advocacy communities were able to negotiate through the difference over mtw in order to advance broader section 8 reform. at z community crafts its legislation, we hope you consider the stake holder approach. mr. chairman, there is an irrefutable need for assistance
and communities across the nation. at the same time there is long standing consensus on a set of reforms that streamline and simplify administration of the housing choice voucher and public housing program. hud's committed to not improving just the administration of the programs but its oversight of the public housing programs as well, and we look forward to working with the community and the partners to develop property oversight structure. we also recognize that any exans of -- caption must be coupled with measures to protect tenants assure adequate oversight and evaluate results. i look forward to your questions, thank you. >> thank you for your testimony. as we begin the questions, i'll ask the clerk to put five minutes on the clock for each member. as i mentioned earlier phas in my state and around the country are struggling to provide
services and administrative funding. how well the discussions proposed here reduce burdens on phas, particularly small agencies serving our large areas, like those in south dakota? >> good question, and thank you very much. our proposals streamline and administer and look at the options of having consortium with smaller agencies ban together in order to have economies of scale and administer their programs. in addition, there's streamline opportunities around inspections, around rent certification that could happen particularly for those families on sixed -- fixed incomes and it could happen on a less freebt basis -- frequent basis because that income change is known year
after year. we also believe the inspection protocols could move from annual to biannual, particularly in housing authorities where there's a known tenant population with less wear and tear on the units which indeed may free up housing authority staff, create efficiencies, economies, and allow housing authorities to spread their precious resources further to serve the pop populations housed in those properties. >> phas in my state described difficulties in keeping up with regulatory burdens and paperwork. for example, south dakotans mentioned they are asked to submit the same information multiple times. we have to find a blansz between the -- balance between the need of oversight of taxpayers' dollars
and need of agencies particularly small agencies with limited staff and funding. are you examining the threat of action that hud can take to reduce the burdens on small phas? >> yes we are examining, particularly the burden reporting and regulatory burden on small phas and indeed, trying a couple things on a couple areas. one, as i said earlier i want to look at what we can do to streamline across the board two looking at systems to ask for it once, not in repettive ways, and when we ask for it it's information we'll use and not information we're not. we want the data collection to be as tight as possible. in addition regulatory relief to small agencies in particular some things we think make totally good sense from a
property management and monitoring perspective. we want to take those not just for small agencies, but take them to scale because if they are good for small agencies doing real estate property management, then they are good for other larger agencies to do that same work as well. there's other issues we want to talk more with the committee and with small agencies what they need to really run their business and balance that with what hud needs. we have to look at risk and asees risk in small housing authorities if you follow the money. small agencies are risk property ies but we want to strike that balance making sure we are being as effective and efficient with all of our stake holders. >> you have recommended
increasing the medical deduction used in income and represent calculations from 3% to 10% of income. previous versions was senate's several legislation in the bill under discretion in the house financial services committee take a broader approach to simplifying income and rental housing calculations. these would streamline several deductions and hud's income calculations and replace them with standard deductions. do you support this broader approach to simplifying deductions? >> yes we do support broader approach to simplifying thinking there's less errors, and understand the changes and housing authority staff to
compute and make less mistakes in computations. there needs to be a balance between standard deductions and both on standard deductions pairing that with any changes in thed medical deductions so there's a balanced program. it's truly not to harm or produce greater cost in the citizens seen in the programs. >> senator reid. >> thank you very much and thank you and as you know one of the consistent themes here from your department and the chairman's questioning is lowering the deadweight cost on small public housing authorities, and you're trying to do that. one issue that's come up recently to our attention is that they are recognizing the grants this year errors, and
you're trying to correct the errors. we have a houseing process, and this is another example where they have to go back redo the work, ect. it adds to the cost. could you give us an insight as to what happened and what are you doing? >> yes thank you for that question and i sometimes refer to it as cosmic convergence. several things went wrong at the same time and hence we are -- we find ourselves in having made a mistake. in the award, in the calculations for those awords for the family's self-sufficiency grants on the voucher side. as it relates to housing authorities that applies under the nofa earlier this year at
the process making its first mistake, and that was the data poll. i want to be clear and the nofa as written made a point saying we will do a data poll from our data base that looks at the yearlong families registered in the self-sufficiency program at any authority. we will postthat data on a website, click the link and it took you to that posting. in addition, we said check the postings to see the numbers we have for your particular housing authority, and they said if that -- if you disagreed with that number, could you please then, submit a supplemental or app ad hoc report to accompany your submission and we used then, that submission as the way to calculate funding for those
housing authorities that submitted the ad hoc report. even with that our data poll was a point in time opposed to app -- an entire year, not taking into account, and you might have had a thousand people at the beginning of the year people graduating during the year replacing them and so your number's lower at the point of time poll. that was mistake number one. what we're doing is asking, in fact a letter went out friday to all housing authorities that submitted 750 of them saying we'll reprocess. here's the information this is the reposting, where you will find it. please again, check the reposting, pull your own number, resubmit and from that point forward we are going to reprocess all of those applications. make adjustments where people got awards where people should
not have. others got lower awards, other people got higher amounts than they were due. when all is said and done, because it's the mistake of the department, we do not want housing authorities and cascading down to residents who use the services of self-sufficiency coordinator. for people who were not awarded money we'll make available fees for them to continue if they will not be able to move forward and not have to take a loss and lay people off. >> thank you madam secretary. just two points because my time is winding down. one is you and your proposal for essentially merging or consolidating both the voucher program and the program for public housing authorities, i
think that's part of your zine reflective of the -- design reflective of the the legislation submitted and colleagues are supported. >> yes. >> and it makes sense. second point is this notion of banding together. spreading overhead costs, something i think we should all explore. you know, i'm sure there are communities in south dakota and new jersey and rhode island where there's one housing official trying to known with all -- cope with all of this in a really difficult climate, and the fact we can incentivize this coming together maybe not formally, but through sort of joint services, joint -- that would be very very good so any advice you have for us going forward we'd appreciate that, but, thank you, mr. chairman thank you madam secretary. >> thank youings sir. -- thank you sir. >> senator crapo. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first of all, i apologize, i can
only be here for just a couple moments, but i wanted to stop by and indicate to you the chair as well as to the witness and to the other members of the committee that in these difficult budget times we see and the understanding that we all have that funding issues are critical, i think it's important for us to focus on the regulatory activity that the department can bring and the focus it can bring to the housing issues. i think that the deregulation of section 8 is very critical and important, and strengthening and i would hope in that process that the moving to work program could get strengthening and a renewed strong focus as we move forward, but i just wanted to stop in and indicate my support from the process moving forward and encourage that we work closely together on it. again i apologize.
i've been in four places this hour with another one to get to. i apologize, i have to step right out. >> madam secretary, do you have any comments about these issues? >> we just look forward to working with the committee, both in strengthening our regulatory oversights that's appropriate in plapsing that with the needs of housing authorities to get their work done to receiver the people who are housed in those programs. thank you very much, sir. >> senator menendez. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thanks for calling the hearing. we had a hearing in the subcommittee that laid the foundation and pleased to see the secretary here to build upon it. madam secretary, we have been discussing reforms to section 8 for some time now and i think there is a tendency to forget how incredibly pressing the need for action really is. affordable housing advocates and housing authorities back in new jersey are telling me that these forms cannot wait reforms
cannot wait, and they are urgently needed now so can you give the committee a sense of the impact over time if congress fails to agent relatively soon after such a long time of having this discussion to implement specific reform provisions? what flows from that? >> that's a really good question, thank you, senator. i'm taking a moment because i want to sort of get centered because i think there are lots of potential issues to flow from this. as you know administrative fees, the money housing authorities get for leasing units under the section 8 side as fees decrease, the workload does not. what they have to do, the kinds of questions they have to ask the kinds of documentation that's required on an annual
basis does not decrease in spite of the fact that the funding to do that work has decreased which means that housing authorities in some instances laid people off and that has led to longer waiting lists for people. it's led -- it means the people are waiting lopper, living in more difficult conditions longer. it's meant as you laid off people with decreasing funding that housing authority employees themselves will find themselves in difficult straights as well. the way in which we think about how that program gets managed gets more difficult. the less people, the more workload or similar workload means potential for more error potential for more error means potential for wasted taxpayer dollars, and so we really do need to think about streamlining
so the work gets done and work gets out as quickly as possible and operations from the business processes for authorities are streamlined so errors are minimized and maximizes the dollars, the precious resources we have. >> i appreciate that. how about housing authorities refusing to run their voucher programs and turning down vast vouchers to assist houmaless veterans and the loss of hard units? >> we've seen that in several instays stances. in fact, not just vast vouchers, but there's about a dozen housing authorities deciding they're not going to operate a voucher program anymore and made arrangements to convey that operation to consolidate that operation with another larger housing authority. it means that the folks who need the subsidy the affordability are not getting served. it means that the amount of work that it takes to do the job well
is not able to be supported, and it means, most of all that we'll have homeless veterans and other families, homeless families in conditions that should not be toller raid. -- tolerated. >> there's some core provisions i want to get your comment on. one is having a stable voucher renewal policy to create predictability because i'm told it's hard for housing authorities to plan for the year ahead when they don't know exactly what that will do and clarify how much money can be held in reserves for a rainy day without that taken off to offset and also the flexibility provisions that are discussed in project based vouchers enabling housing authorities to better assist families and especially
elderly, disabled families families transitioning out of homelessness to live in affordable housing communities of opportunity receive services on site. how would that predict the -- predictability funding and the flexibility translate into more families served if it does translate into that? >> predictability is something we endorse wholeheartedly meaning they can plain their business moving forward understand its resources and it can then tab expenses and figure out how best to run its program. that just does not benefit the housing authority and employees but the residents who are participating in the programs the voucher side and we have heard in the past issues on short falls or money not being srb having sufficient funds to make sure that everybody who needs to be housed or be renewed
have their voucher renewed will be able to do that and 24 -- this will make sure we don't have to have the discussions again. tenants will be protected and participants will be protected in that regard. further, i believe that a fixed formula funding, renewal funding, means that housing authorities are able to bill up small rereceivers. right now it is at about three weeks and a three week reserve on a multibillion dollar program is not a lot of money, particularly running on one that's tied to real estate forces. while there's fair market represents and limit -- rents and limits and so on the housing authority is to want to house as many people on the waiting list as possible. that's why we're all in the business. having predictability allows
them to do that particularly coupled with understanding what you're reserve levels are and it's not swept, and understanding that one of the things we ask for as well is the reallocation authority for the secretary so in some markets it may be easier to lease, and you may have more room, and some housing authorities may not be able to lease as readily and will not use all of the money that's come to them and so the ability to reallocate to continue to house and maximize housing across the nation is something that we would look forward to as well. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much thank you, madam secretary, for your answers. i look forward to working with the chair and his leadership hopefully in the next congress to see if this is something we within the housing context can prioritize because i think there's two shared goals here getting more people to have a place to call home, and
secondly, saving taxpayers, money. thank you very much. thank you. >> do you support the idea of phas to form partnership to administer their public housing programs. congress initially authorized the use of -- in 1988 yet i understand it remains phas taken full advantage of the authority. what is hud doing to remove barriers to use -- facilitate pha's participation if they are to determine it will meet their local needs? >> there are several actions taken right now. first of all they are allowed in voucher administering agencies, but not only public housing side, and so we are looking to extend the ability to
have that happen in the public housing programs. in addition, right now under con -- con shore shut up say they ban together to simplify operations but have to fill out three or four separate reports to hud because they are still seen as three or four separate public housing entities and so we're looking at ways again why streamlining administrative flexibility is to important because we're trying to figure out ways in which housing authorities could file one report, for example that would cover their agencies. we still ask each housing authority to file for its own tenants and participants into our what we call our pick data base our personal information op every single household in the
voucher program and public housing side and ask under family's self-sufficiency there's one report that's done that covers what the goals are early on in the program, and then if they've met those goals in a year end report, and so we're looking at all sorts of ways and in fact we' been working wither of housing authorities all a range of sizes across the country asking them what information do they need to run their data base to -- day-to-day business upon which they make their business decisions, and then translating that into what about that information we could collect and use since they are doing it already that we could then use to monitor them as well so that we're not asking for different information or in a different format than they already collected. >> you mentioned your report for the rental assistance
demonstration end acted in fiscal 2012 in your remarks. can you update us on the status as this demonstration? secondly, can you also comment on a draft house proposal to authorize funds for use in this conversion dmop strags and how -- demonstration and how these funds may be used in assistant housing? >> yes thank you for -- so the rental demonstration program was authorized in fiscal 2012, designed initially as a two application period for public housing properties because we knew there were housing ready to submit and others who wanted to spend time thinking through the applications on a later date. the period ended october 24th
just several weeks ago. we got a number of applications that's still tap by-- tab bylated on how many, but range medium to large housing authorities that put proposals together and we can provide greater tab tabulation and ongoing basis they are coming in after the october 24th date and we'll look at that after the initial cut has been reviewed. as you know the previous bill said that we could get up to 60,000 units in at a no cost using project based contracts or project based vouchers. in addition there's -- in that 60,000 cap is also authorizing for multifamily programs rent supplement, rental assistance payment, and section 8 mod rehab
while we strongly support this program as a way to preserve public housing, to get enough capital infused using private sector financing tools to get money into the public arena to help rehabilitate and main tape these properties. we know there's a number of properties for whom this does not work because they have a larger capital need. we look forward to previous reiterations on the house side and helping housing authorities with greater capital needs leverage greater amounts of private sector end r -- entities. what's helpful is how they use a variety of tools for mixed finance deals to make this
happen. again, it puts them on the same real estate platform as everything else in the real estate market place, leveraging capital improvement dollars to make sure that properties are maintained at current standards and will continue to improve and continue to be available to serve people who live there now and for future generations who need the economic stability. >> i would like to thank assistant secretary for your testimony and for being here wuss today. this hearing is adjourned. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations]
♪♪ ♪ >> if we turn away from the needs of others we align ourselves with those forces which are bringing about this suffering. >> the white house is a bully pulpit and you ought to take advantage of it. >> obesity in the country is nothing short of a public house crisis. >> i think i just have little antennas that point up and told me when somebody had their own agenda. >> suture information in the office, would be such a shame to waste it. >> i think they serve as a window on the past to what was going on with american women. >> she's, really in a way the only one in the world he can trust. >> many of the woman who were first ladies they were writers a lot were writers journalists they wrote books. >> they are in many cases,
quite frankly more interesting as human beings than their husbands, if only because they are not first and foremost defined and limited by political ambition. >> dolly was both socially adept and politically savvy. >> dolly loved every minute of it as monroe hated it absolutely hated. >> she warned her husband, you know you can't rule without including what women want and what women have to contribute. >> during the statements you were a little breathless, and there was too much looking down, and i think it was a little too fast. not enough change of pace. >> yes, ma'am. >> probably the most tragic of all of our first ladies. >> they never should have married. >> she later wrote in her memoir that she said i myself, never made any decisions. i only decided what was important and when to present it
to my husband. now, you stop and think about how much power that is it's a lot of power. >> prior to the battle against cancer is to fight the fear that accompanies the disease. >> she transformed the way we look at these bugaboos and made it possible for countless people to survive and to flourish as a result. i don't know how many presidents realistically have that kind of impact on the way we live our lives. >> just walking around the white house grounds i am constantly reminded about all the people who lived there before, and particularly all of the women. >> first ladies, influence and image, a new series on c-span produced in cooperation with the white house historical association starting president's day, february 18th.
>> punched me strangled me take things from me spit on me. >> give it to him hard. >> he's not safe on that bus. >> i've been on that bus. they are just as good as gold. >> as all of us i think, in this country, were starting to see people coming out and talking about their experience of this phenomena that so many of us had experienced in one way or another and had had no words for other than adolescence, other than growing up. when finally people were starting to stand back and say hold on, this is not actually a normal part of growing up this is not a normal right of passage and i think there was a moment where there was a possibility for change, and director lee and i decided to start the film out of that feeling that voices were kind of bubbling up coming up to the
surface to say this is noting? that we can accept anymore as a normal part of our culture. >> fill maker followed up at award winning film gathering essays and personal stories together in "bully," and hear more saturday night at ten on "after words" on c-span2. like us on facebook. >> the white house economic council director this week reiterated the obama administration's call for higher tax rates on the welty, but said the white housements a balanced plan that will also include spending cuts. he spoke at the center for american progress monday grue deuced -- introduced by the group's president. >> but now it's my great privilege to introduce the directer of the white house national economic council and assistant to the president for economic policy, gene also is a
former senior fellow at the center of american progress where he wrote pro-growth: the perverse progressive, where he talked a great deal about the connections between innovation, education and ensuring that we have an economy that works for everyone. i want to say that having served in the administration with gene, there is no one in the administration who is more focused on america's long term competitiveness, it's short term competitiveness, it's midterm competitiveness. when the president is talking about the issues, which i know are critical to him which is how america maintains its edge in the global economy, and how it also does right by all of its citizens from the senior citizens to the students to the people dreaming about being the
next generation of innovators. he knows besides talking about policies that can help achieve that from higher education k-12, ensuring our universities are still leading and our citizens are well-trained. when it comes to a subject of human capital maybe not the best term for ensuring our children are keeping their -- achieving their dreams. he's been fixed on that set of issue like none other and not just at cap but at brookings did work on the education of girls around the world and has written extensively about education here in the united states. he's obviously immeshed on the debates around the fiscal cliff but he's here today to talk about long term challenges and how we connect the dots which are wide ranging discussion help set up. with that gene sperling.
[applause] >> well, thank you very much neera. it's intimidating to have already followed your panel. i like much more when you get to talk first be the first person to mention every idea, and the panels say, yes as was said -- [laughter] now it's you go after the president of harvard and you know, hutchens and you know susan, who more importantly than anything else she's done at google or in congress, partners with my wife on issues of child trafficking so she's a special place in our home but so you know, i know a lot has already been said and since i p didn't hear it all i don't know if i'll just repeat it again.
we like to remind ourselves what's the end goal for economic policy because you hear a lot of metrics on gdp on growth, on productivity, ect. as if those were the ends in themselves. they are all means to our ends ultimate goals of economic policy which, to me are, are we are nation in which the accident of your birth does not overly determine the outcome of your life or if there's a real chance for everyone to rise? two are we an economy where growth strengthens and broadens the middle class so there's not only security for the middle class, but ability that those from other countries and those who are poor can move up without pushing anyone out and three are we an economy in a country where people who work hard and take speedometer for -- l responsibility for their lives
can work with dignity raise their children with dignity and retire with dignity. those are the goals and what everything we do is measured against. innovation can be defined in many ways. you can define as the commitment to combine technology and skills and other inputs to have better methods and processes for higher productivity. you can define it as a commitment to fdr-like bold and per sis tent experimentation and i believe you can define it as a commitment to investing in the building blocks that lay the foundation for an innovation economy, research education, modern infrastructure, but in the end i believe if you are progressive you -- the way i believe we have to look at it is it's fundamentally a commitment that we want to embrace and we
have to want it work in a way that furthers, not works against those basic values. productivity leads to hallowing out the middle class that gives the same productivity growth but it does not meet our goals as a country which is to be a broad middle class. my view, and i think the book i wrote and more importantly, president obama's view is that if you are progressive you need to be at the fore opportunity. you need to be embracing change but shaping change so that it is meeting progressive values talked about and i think the president well knows that we can want assume that that type of push towards technology, globalization innovation however inevitable will automatically lead to the type
of sharedded growth we want that there is potential to have those types of changes lead to win or take all outcomes, that are not consistent with shared prosperity, and an economy and growth built to last. our economy, i believe is not how we put the brakes on but how we put, you know we put the engine on innovation and change, but we do so with the ultimate issue of whether it's promoting these fundmental ends of shared prosperity and a stronger more inclusive middle class. now, i think that the issue of progressive taxation is not at all irrelevant to this when you think again, we have an economy capable of having more win or take all outcomes. in that context progressive taxation is not about redistribution.
it's not about popularism or punishing success in any way. what it is a commitment to national commitment to pay it forward and recognize those of us what benefited most from the innovation of the past who benefited most from the investment of the past have an obligation if we are doing well, to pay it forward to make a sure that we are giving this generation and the next generation the same building blocks in terms of education research, modern infrastructure, and so that they have the same chance to grow and prosper, and in that sense the -- having you know, paying down deficits while still investing in the building blocks of innovation is not about borrowing from the future. it's about investing in a richer and more prowess -- prosperous future. i think that's -- i think that's
the overall frame that we go forward, and i do believe that there has been a greater belief that we do have to embrace change, that the processes of innovation and productivity and technology and globalization are not things to be stopped but things to be embraced and shaped towards progressive values we hold dear. when you talk both innovation is you are essentially and talking about accountability and your -- the part of having innovation is an ability to test what is working and not working and being able to marshall various forces, and i think this is another place where progressives lead and not be fearful. that view of evidence based
change is to the funds proposals we have for career comes, home visits for nurses for at-risk chirp arpa all of these based on a strong evaluation of what's working and commitment to put more resources behind innovation for results. now with that said i think when we call for more accountability more evidence-based evaluation, it is important that we lead but it is also important we don't allow programs that are for let's say poor chirp to somehow become the victims of 5 double -- of a double higher standard. i've seen this too many times. when a research strategy for
cancer goes awry people evaluate figure out what went wrong, and do it better in the future. they don't say well the whole idea of trying to cure cancer is just misguided, what a waste of money. we ought to, you know government shouldn't be involved in that. there's times they evaluate assessment that help our poorest children people in the toughest, most disadvantaged neighborhoods the most intractable problems, dealing with, for example young people rescued from trafficking. these are very very difficult problems and we should evaluate tan see what works but we should also insist, again, there's not a double standards so that if an evaluation a single evaluation, or even a couple of evaluation somehow show that a particular strategy is not worked well that that is a motivation to do things better and smarterring not an excuse or reason to say government has no business being involved in that endeavor so i think we need to
be for change, accountability, evaluation but not a tougher higher, double standard just when it comes to young people from the most disadvantaged and troubled environment. there is so much to talk about in the innovation area. let me mention a few things we're focused on, and then we can do some questions. one, i think, on the area that i feel like you have been talking about on the skilled work force or whether and how much there is a skill gap skills gap i think this is a critical issue. i think that for us to have clear policies we probably need to do a little better a clearly defining the challenge. first of all, i don't think there's any question that the main reason that we are having higher unemployment right now is not structural. it is fundamentally cyclical fundamentally the lack of demand that's still in the economy as we recover from the great
recession. that said that awareness that recognition that ben bernanke and former chair ed lazaar embraced that our problems now are more about demand than structural should not undermind the fundamental importance of dealing with skills or that we may face temporary or future skills gaps. i think that there's three reasons for this, and number one, unemployment today that is fundamentally about cyclical demand, less strength in the economy, can easily become the next structural skills problem of the future. we know that one of the challenges we face right now in our economy is not just lowering unemployment, but lowering long term unemployment, and that if we allow legions of the fellow citizens to be unemployed for a year or two years or longer, we know from study after study that they will have more trouble
reestablishing their skills going forward, and that will be a humanitarian crisis for us as a country, but it will also be -- we'll be sitting by and letting a new structural skills gap expand because we are not taking enough efforts right now to get people back to work and to deal with long term unemployment. secondly, there is clearly some skill gap issues. you hear that in welders and engineers and focus on that and third most importantly the long term issue which is really more to me since you talk about the future it's less of a current skills gap and it's more of a supply side issue. we should believe that if we have a large enough supply of skilled workers that -- in the field of dreams notion have the degree of skilled worker, it helps location of jobs come here. we'll be more of a magnet for the high skilled jobs of the
future. when we look at this though we should in our policy solutions make sure we are defining policies right so that we are having the right solution. sometimes when people say skill gaps, they are talking about too few of the absolute top of the top engineers and technicians. they are helping to address them now with high skill immigration, and other times they are talking about the overall supply of stem workers in our economy. stem, is science, technology, engineering, and mathematical workers, in our economy. that is a broader issue. that can only be dealt with with larger issues in the education and training, and then sometimes they are talking about skill gaps where there's just not a strong enough connection between how we have worker training aerothe -- training, and the skills open in
training areas. they are important skill gaps or skill issues, but they do not take with them the exact same policy solutions and as we move forward, i believe it put to places like cap and others, can help all of us helping to define these issues and define which policies address them. i suggest we will be strongest when we have a larger skills compact. i think, you know many people come from silicon valley ache talk about the needs for high skills immigration and i agree. i think we do need to do more on high skilled immigration. the president agrees but that is a -- it is a stronger case to make that to the american people if that is one component of the strategy. one component, not just of a larger comprehensive immigration strategy but one component of a larger skills strategy which also talkings about how we can increase the number of skilled workers coming from our country
from u.s. schools u.s. work forces. together, that is a skills compact that i think the country could easily get behind and support so i think that is highly important as we think of the skills issue going forward. i think some of the issues i heard talked about before are critical to that as well. what are we doing in the pipeline? what are we doing from the earliest ages to make sure underrepresented groups are taking to science? why do we have the dropoff in middle school around young women? when's the long term strategies? i think we have to hit on -- we have to attack this on all cylinders. we have to have an all of above strategy but while we do the long term strategy to have a greater supply of stem workers and high skilled workers, we should not take the eye off what to do in the short term.
one of the most powerful statistics from the president's science and technology council was the idea that you could have a significant effect on the number of workers we have if you just ensured there's a higher garaguation rate among those who declared a stem major in the freshman year, taking that from 40% to 60% would have a significant impact and that's not 20 years from now but that's two or three years from now. i think we can attack this on the short and long term. second issue on innovation, very important to us and the president, is on the -- on the overall issue of research, basic research. i think this is a critical issue for us and we as a country long committed to a strong research agenda, and we know the areas where the private sector under perform is on basic
research and blue sky research. that's why nih where arpa have come in. to push into the budget issues for a sec there's a lot of people who care deeply about whether there's enough on energy and advanced manufacturing research, deeply whether you are going to help nih push us to the next frontiers of alzheimer's research and other important biomedical research and then say, but it's not really my business. i'm not a budget person to worry about whether we are cutting to deeply on the domestic budget. what i have to say to folks is you cannot pretend you care deeply about innovation and rearming and investing in early childhood and investing in science and stem education if you're indifferent to whether or
not we reduce our budget deficit similarly taking deeper and deeper cuts in the discretionary budget. at some point, you get to a point where you are simply trading off between early childhood and biomedical research, and higher education. those are not tradeoffs the american public wants us to make. when we talk about having a -- getting our fiscal discipline, our fiscal house in order, i want to remind people when i was here in the early 1990s, one of the calls, one of the reasons why people made that case was that if we had expanding deficits, it was not crowding out private capital, but our public investment in the future, in the children modern infrastructure and innovation. when we decide to cut spending, which we need to as part of a larger deficit reduction
agreement those of you who care about innovation need to care about how you cut, how you reduce spending. we have already cut domestic discretionary spending to the lowest levels since the eisenhower administration. that's something the president felt necessary in the extraordinary times, but to cut another 10% or 15% as some do will make the proposals suggested to hear a mute point. i flag that for everyone. the third issue talked about before closing is just manufacturing. this administration made manufacturing a priority and we are aware when you focus on manufacturing, there's some who take a more classical view economic view and say you cannot have a preference or care more about any particularly part of
the economy because then you're picking winners and losers. you're putting distortion loss on the economy, and i wanted to make the economic case why we feel that's not right. first of all consider research and development research and development is an area where there's strong bipartisan support significant benefits that go beyond the particular company doing research and development. we support the universities to do basic research, give the research and development tax credits to the companies because we believe there's a benefit in innovation and growth that happens to the economy when that happens here that goes beyond specific benefits of the individual company, and i think that manufacturing for us done right, done smart has that same justification. number one manufacturing punches above its weight. 90% of patents, 70% of private
sector research and 60% of imports come from manufacturing. secondly location matters. studies show that when a major manufacturing link goes further, the productivity of the nearby manufacturing also goes up. there are positive supply chain and ecosystem impacts that go, again, beyond the particular company. we have papers on this but for those who take more of the knee-jerk reviews the argument that anything for -- that stresses advanced manufacturing are the importance of location is somehow just a political or distortioned policy. you should look at the increase in strong economic evidence suggesting location does matter, and that is it is right as a matter of public policy to want
to have more manufacturing locations in the united states. note how many companies are moving their production and their design specialist together on the floor. why? because they think it matters. bell labs thinks it matters to have production and design together, that there is a greater innovation benefit that goes on. next point that they make so well is that when you have an overall supply chain in manufacturing when you suffer a period where that manufacturing base is eroded, it is not just a temporary thing. it affects our ability to compete for the next level of high value added projects and their example is when consumer electronics where it might have seemed at one point that it was not such a terrible thing if
consumer electronics were produced somewhere else with lower cost labor, but what they argue is that that eroded our aim, our -- ability, our base to compete for what became the higher added value electronics of the future but if that's the test case for letting manufacturing base become eroded, then i think we can feel positive what happened on autos was the opposite side. the fact the american automobile industry was saved or helped save itself with the help of president obama and the workers and the people there is part of our manufacturing in the united states, might have saved over a million jobs, but i think it important for the future. nobody doesn'ts that the united states automobile industry is now positioned to compete for the future jobs which would not have happened had we let that
the entire supply chain become eroded. i thought one of the most significant quotes was that from allen at ford because everything that would have been taught in the macro or microeconomics class wiewf -- would have been you had thee main competitors two we want out of business, the one standing would be stronger taking more market share and would be more powerful and broader. it's striking then that ford motor company's ceo said at the time, and i quote "we believe that if gm and chrysler would have gone into free fall bankruptcy, they would have taken the supply base down and taken the industry down plus maybe turn the u.s. recession into a depression close quote. that is a teaching moment about the power innovative skill set
supply chapes and what that means for our capacity to compete that the company that would have been left sanding thought they would have gone down as well. there is so much to say. i wanted to make a few points, overall perspective, talk about manufacturing, research and skills and very happy to take your questions going forward. [applause] >> it's time for a few questions, and if you with wait until christine comes around with the microphone. >> thank you. rob, aic investments a manufacturing investor in 20 states and my question goes to innovation funds which you brought up. at what stage are you focusing on? with respect to expansion or startups? on an execution basis, what's
the plan as far as national strategies? >> those of us in the government job, you you know where you want to be like like the classic economic book is look for where we are under investing as a country or where we have too little capital as a country going to the private sector enterprises where because individual actors do not feel they get the full benefits but we, as a country, would be richer and if there was more investments in those areas and so one of the things we're trying to look at, i think the expressions are where are the valley of deaths? meaning, where are the places where in the innovative process for companies where they are not able to get the capital they
need to be, perhaps, one of the gazelles the fast growing companies and i think the hard part at the government level is you have to ask is it a valley of death because it should be a valley of death? because it doesn't make sense for the private or the public sector to be investing in companies like that or is it a case where there really is a market failure, may not make sense for particular venture funds to invest in certain companies but if we have a broader investment some would prosper, and we as a country would be better off. that's where i think you look for the type of tools you have with the fdic and other tools to see are there areas where it makes sense where we as a country maybe care more about how many small manufacturers have a chance to grow and expand and that even if there's a risk aversion in the capital
markets or it's just not the badder trend of the day, there's a strong enough public purpose for us to go in there, and that's something that, you know we look at we take very seriously and it's something that we are having discussions with karen mills, treasury department about and so we will be around for four more years, and so we're open and eager to get people suggestions. i will say on the regional strategy, i think one of the very strong initiatives put forward was the national innovation hud proposal and what was interesting there is we proposed a billion dollars to do 15 or 20 and when it didn't look like congress was going to pass that, the president said to us can't you pull together enough money in the federal government to do one pilot? we did pass the hat and come up with $45 million.
when we put the proposal forward, we received 13 partnerships. thirteen, tremendous collaborations. only able to award one going to a collaboration in youngstown where it's partners included not just case western, but carnegie melon and it is -- the excitement about that and i think also the excitement you do something that's regional with pennsylvania ohio, and the rust belt stream investing together instead of way things typically are for a particular state or particular city locking for that. considering we tested that we saw enough interest that 13 partnerships would apply for that, that really shows, i think, the promise of this strategy used in germany, of these national manufacturing innovation hubs and i think that ising? we're -- i think that's something we're going to look to promote in a second term and expand further.
>> over here. microphone's coming. thank you paul with every child matters. i applaud you for the comments about the need to the to have us fighting against money for children versus money for research and other vital needs in the domestic discretionary bumming. the question is where do we find more revenue? have you considered taxes on stock transfers or transactions or other innovative carbon taxes other kinds of approaches to find new revenue that will be possible for us to not fight amongst ourselves for important resources? >> well, it's going to shock many of you to know that i'm not here to make news on revenues. we are busy fighting right now to make sure we have a budget agreement that's very balanced, and i think that's part of the
revenues together with smart entitlement savings. the type of balance is to make sure that there's a package put together in a way that does not hand cuff us the short term and long term investments. one of the things as i stress stressed, that you don't want to go further in reductions, precisely in the areas of government where we fund early childhood, funding biomedical research, where we fund the national science foundation and other economic growth. a challenge to repairing the
damage that was done fiscally for the confidence of bringing down our debts and deficits of the economy, long term investments here, at the same time, we do not starve what is america's history of investments of the future and that's in chirp, all children including poor children in modern infrastructure, research basic and blue sky research, and i think that is when we get beyond that. >> one more question here, and as the question's coming, i want to say how -- how much we support the president on
ensuring there's balance and the president has been very strong on that issue and we have to commend him. >> hi richard singerman with trust net md. we are basically a biomedical company helping doctors and nurses collaborate better using social media, and i want to ask about crossing the valley of death. our company was very fortunate with a small amount of innovation funding coming through in the health care care moneys, but a broader question about the health care ecosystem. in silicon valley, if a company is under all the software engineers find jobs in a matter of weeks, but in biotech people with ph.d. and much more longer term and specialized areas. we don't have the same resilience and it seems like the valley of death is an issue of the ecosystem. you hear a lot of today, about mobile health companies having trouble getting off the ground and through quick enough because some of that valley of death is
regulation together on the health type of things. compare and contrast how we foster a more vibrant issue and a biomedical asset in the country. >> let me make a couple points number one as you mentioned health care. i feel a bit obligated to say that there's probably few areas where innovation is going to be more important than health care and i think one of the points the president makes repeatedly is the only good solution in dealing with our health care challenge is doing things that lower health care expenditures while increasing the house value you receive. another thing is cutting cost shifting raising costs, to try
to lower the federal books, but is to continue to havenovation and push the innovation that lowers health care spending not beca cost shift because a better value at lower costs and i think, for us as much as there's the understandable focus on you know, what entitlement savings part of the long term budget, making sure we do everything we can to test and innovate within the reforms of the affordable care act i hope will be a focus going forward. i realize we've been through a political period where there's been a stress on would it survive or would it not survive. now that we're past that now that we know this is the law of the land, there would be so much to gain from not just a
bipartisan effort, but an effort through the entire expert and health community to look at which of these reforms are working which of the innovations are working because this is the -- this is the true answer to our long term health challenge. we have 40 you know, when i left government last time there were 40 million people on medicare. in 2020 there's going to be 64 million. it will go up 60%. there's 24 million. you cannot repeal the retirement of the baby boom era. you can't repeal that. you don't want to provide less to people who worked hard their whole life so the ultimate goal has to be again, this type of innovation for health care. by yo technology, i don't know if i can give you a specific answer other than to say that i think we -- i think there's a growing recognition that when
you're looking for areas of promise in the united states over the next 10-20 years that there is enormous promise in the area. not just -- most importantly in what it means for health and life outcomes, but for our economy, for jobs for entrepreneurship, but it's an area looking closely at and again it's an area where ideas about where you think there's you know, negative valley of death in terms of capital for people listening that does not actually mean the valley of death, but it means that you get to a certain point in the formation of the company where you cannot get the financing you need. i think that's an area we should be willing to look, you know, look closely at but with the appropriate rigor. >> okay thank you so much dave, for ending a great day. [applause] i want to thank susan and the
great partnership with harvard for a day that i hope will stimulate people and remind them of the importance of the investments in the coming weeks thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> the white house was very controversial as most things in america were. who designed washington city, there was competition, and he submitted the design for a palace. americans were not having a palace. it was not particularly awe-inspiring. in fact, in 1821 european diplomats told the congress it was neither large nor awe
inspiring but the answer the congressman gave said the building served its purpose. larger and more electronics gaunt, perhaps a president would be inclined to become a permanent resident. >> the photo critic gathered a few of the favorite white house photos in "the white house: the president's home and photographs in history" watch sunday evening at 7:30 eastern and pacific on c-span3's american history tv. >> my inspiration was the idea that i wanted to explain how to tell how it happens. we know the cold war, the documents the archives betweens relationships between roosevelt, stalin, churchill, and truman. we know the main event the from our point of view read and written them. i wanted to show an angle from the ground up. what did it feel like to be one
of the people who were subjected to this system, and how did people make choices in that system and how did they react and how did they behave? it's interesting one of the things that's happened since 1989 is the region that we used to call eastern europe has become very differentiated. it's no longer -- these countries no longer have much in common with one another other than the common memory of communism occupation. >> more with pulitzer prize winner on life in sowfout east germany, poll land and from the historical narrative "iron curtain" sunday night at eight on c-span's "q&a." >> up next, four speeches with republican scott brown and north
dakota democrat retiring after 20 years in the senate. last day that i serve in this great chamber, which is a month shy of three years serving i still say and believe aside from my marriage to my wife gail of 26 years and the birth of my two children ayla and arianna serving for the great people of massachusetts in the people's seat has been the greatest honor of my life. i want to thank the people of
massachusetts for that opportunity to think that someone like me whose parents were married four times each, lived in 17 houses and subjected to forms of abuses growing up has the chance to serve in one of the greatest deliberative bodies in the world is something i will soon not forget. to the young people sitting here and may be watching, take it from me that in this country even when it seems you're fighting against all odds, anything is possible for you. there are no obstacles that cannot be overcome, so do not give up and always follow your dreams. as i have said before, a person has no business in politics unless they respect the judgment of the voters. and if you run for office, you've got to be able to take victory or defeat in a gracious manner. i do respect the judgment of the voters. i accept their decision in this election with the same attitude and sense of appreciation that i held when i arrived here in this chamber almost three years ago. when i was sworn in, i was the
1,914th senator accepting the oath of office by signing the book right up at the clerk's table. and there were many senators that served before me, and there will be many senators that serve after my service is over. that my name is listed amongst them is very, very humbling. to all the people of massachusetts, i greatly appreciate the confidence that you placed in me for the past three years in allowing me to represent you in the united states senate. to my colleagues, i want to thank you for the courtesy and friendship that you afforded me during my time here. when i arrived here, i promised that i would read the bills see how they affected massachusetts see how they affected our country, our deficit and i would vote in an independent manner based on the merits of that issue rather than political partisan politics. and i'm proud that i did keep that promise to be independent. i'm proud that my voting record
has identified me as the second-most bipartisan senator in the united states senate as referenced by "congressional quarterly" and i was named as the least partisan senator in the united states senate by washingtonian magazine. it was the independent and bipartisan approach that provided me with an opportunity to stand with the president at the white house on three separate occasions in the past two years to see bills that i had either sponsored or played a key role in securing their passage into law. i was honored to work with many of my colleagues that are here today and many who are listening on both sides of the aisle on legislation that was signed into law to move our country forward including the stock act to ban insider trading by members of congress. madam president, you played a key role in that as well. the hire a hero veterans bill to help our veterans fighting for jobs actually have opportunities to be hired by employers who are looking for those heroes. the crowdfunding legislation
which will help young entrepreneurs get access to new capital and create jobs, something i hope the s.e.c. will immediately come up with a rule so these people can start creating jobs and raising money. legislation to reform wall street, where i was the deciding vote to strengthen our country's financial system. legislation to eliminate an onerous 3% withholding tax the stealth tax that would have affected government contractors. that's also gone and into law. legislation to ensure that our fallen heroes receive the dignity and respect they deserve at the arlington national cemetery. and that's something now that is also fixed. and many, many other congressional actions that have made a difference not only in massachusetts, but in this great country. these are all shared successes that i was proud to be part of each and every one of them. i have always said that in order to do our business as our country's leaders we must do our work in a bipartisan,
bicameral manner to ensure that the actions taken by congress benefit all americans. not just those of one political party or one political ideology. during my time here and now as i'm leaving, i have been and still am deeply concerned about the lack of bipartisan efforts to solve our country's most pressing economic challenges and in turn move our country forward. many times political party and personal gain is put before the needs of our country. i know we can do it better. the american people expect us to do it better. and as i leave i challenge the leadership on both sides of the aisle to make the process more open and transparent. i challenge members to work with each other in a more open and honest manner. and i challenge the president and the congressional leadership to also work together immediately to address the concerns and needs of our country, because after all, we
are americans first and our country deserves better. in closing you see my staff here. many of them who were here from the beginning. they came from applicants over 4,000 for a very select few jobs. i want to thank vanessa centers my chief of staff and each and every one of the staff for the amazing work that they have done in really interesting times to come here as the 41st or the 60th senator and have the media scrutiny and all the commentary from every special interest group around the country in the middle of a senate that was gridlocked, and to come here and have an opportunity to make a difference and do it well without making any mistakes is something i think benefitassachetts something i think benefit massachusetts, but alsohe benefited this great country andsume allowed for the debate to resume, once again to eliminateough a supermajorities so one sideide could ram through things that or the other side had no way of -- count
no involvement in.'s not what that is not what our country is about, not what this chamber isthe peoe o about. we deserve better.ntry the people of massachusetts and the people of thisth country deserve better. every they deserve to h pave their chamber voices heard. one every person in this chamber has one vote. to think that one side of the other depending on who is in charge is going to stifle thatver part one senator from whatever part country t of theo country to let he or she m have their moment to express their views on something that is important to them and theirency t shut constituency, to shut that oftenhumb put your thumb on it is not the way that we should be doing it herehere. ccerned deeply concerned about anyules t ha changes in the rules that are t e being proposed to eliminate theo ability for both sides to a battle and do battle and a thoughtful, respectful manner. if you see the movie lincoln you saw that even back then there were battling for months at the time in order to convince each other to go one way or another.em since when has it been a probleme to actu ally have vibrant debate in in the united states senate? in this si great chamber, says
when? about? what is e verybody's scaredhat. about?opeful - i'm i don't understand that so i am hopeful that the leaders will we come together and recognize that we need to continue to have thatha vibrant debate.t that is what makes this chamber what m soak unique.he any other government any other governme form of government around the and world t and to take that away and and limited i think is a big big stake. mistake. thank y i want to ousay thank you are to obviously to the people of t massachusetts for entrusting me to sit in the people seat for to thank the past three years. i want to thank my colleaguesome who are here.ave h i have had some greatri friendships and opportunities toities work witothork.es as i said many times before, a temporary victory in defeat isorary temporary. depending on what happens and i where wes go all of us we makeain. but i an obviously to meet again but i am looking for to uicongn otinuing on with those friendships andworkin continuinggit ohn my working with my staff, and i wanted thank you
for the opportunity to speak today, and i yield the floor. >> madam president i rise today to address my colleagues on a number of issues importance the future of the united states and offer some perspective on the senate service. in a few weeks i will leave the senate for new pursuits that will allow me to devote much deeper attention to a number of issues that have been a part of my senate service. among these are preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and developing more efficient ways to feed the world . i will be serving on the faculty of the university of indianapolis and helping that institution established in washington program. alec farr to announcing additional endeavors of service in the coming weeks. my service in the senate would not have been possible without
the encouragement and constant support of my loving wife our four sons mark bob john and david and the entire family most of which is with us here in the gallery today. their strength and sacrifices have been indispensable to my public service. i am also very much indebted to a great number of talented and loyal friends who have served with me in the senate including by my count, more than 300 senators hundreds of personal and committee staff members and more than a thousand students in turns. in my experience it is difficult to conceive of a better platform from which to devote oneself to public service and the search for solutions to national and international problems. at its best the senate is one of the founders most important
creations. a great deal has been written recently about political discord in the united states. some commentators judging that partisanship is at an all-time high. having seen quite a few times in the congress when political struggles were portrayed in this way i hesitate to describe our current state as of the most partisan ever but i do believe that as an institution we have not lived up to the expectations of our constituents to make excellent endeavor -- and governance our top priority. many of us have had some type of executive experience as governors, mayors corporations to my cabinet officials. i had the good fortune of serving two terms as mayor of indianapolis prior to my sense service. and for the last 36 years i have attempted to apply lessons learned during those early
governing experiences to my work in the senate. has a mayor i response to cut my responsibility for what happened in my city was comprehensive and inescapable. citizens held the mayor's office accountable for the tasks of daily life trash collection fixing pot holes in the street snow removal. but also for executing strategies economic and social advancement of the city. in legislative life by contrast we are responsible for positions expressed through votes co-sponsor ships interviews, and other means. it takes courage to declare dozens or even hundreds of positions and stand for office, knowing that with each position you are displeasing some group of voters. we do our country a disservice if we misstate the act of taking positions for governance.
they are not the same thing. governance requires adaptation ted shifting circumstances. it often requires finding common ground with americans to have a different vision than around. it requires leaders to believe, like edmund burke the first responsibility to their constituents apply their best judgment. it is possible to be elected and reelected again and again and to gain prominence in the senate by giving very little thought to governance. one kid even gain considerable notoriety by devoting one's career the political aspects of the senators job mainly providing the plot -- promoting a party line raising money focusing on public relations. responsibility for legislative shortcomings can be penned on the other party or even
intractable members of one's own party. none of us are above politics nor the founders expected to be. but obviously we should be aspiring for something greater than this. too often in recent years the members of congress have locked themselves into a slate of inflexible positions many of which have no hope of being implemented in a divided government. some of these positions have been further calcified by pledges signed for political purposes. too often we have failed to listen to one another and question whether the orthodox views being promulgated by our party's make strategic sense for america's future. the result has been intractably negative public perceptions of congress. a rasmussen report poll conducted just this month found that only 10 percent of likely
voters give congress awaiting of excellent or good. for me the irony is that having seen several generations of lawmakers passed through the body i can attest that the vast majority are hard-working genuinely interested in public service and eager to contribute to the welfare of our country. often the public does not believe that. it is easier to assume that congressional failings arrives from the incompetence or even malfeasance of individual legislators. perhaps some believe washington d.c. itself is corrupted. phar-mor disconcerting to think that our democracy shortcomings are complex and devise simple solutions. the founders were realists who understood the power of parochialism personal ambition. there understood that good
intentions would not always prevail. accordingly they designed a system to check abuse and prevent power from accumulating in a few hands. they knew that the efficient operation of such a republic would require a great deal of corporation. they knew that it would require most elected officials to have a dedication to governments and they trusted that leaves or rice in every era to make their vision work. the senate has a unique role to play in the government's. attributes not possessed by the executive branch, including staying power administrations turned over every four or eight years but senators can have career spanning decades that allow them to apply expertise and political understanding to problems over many years even as administrations come and go. we can also confer a bipartisan
from work on a policy. even a small bipartisan group of senators cooperating a difficult problem is a powerful signal of the possibility for unifying solutions. my hope is the senators will devote much more energy to governance. in a perfect world we would not only govern but execute a coherent strategy. that is a very high bar for a legislative branch to clear. we must aspire to incorporation with the president because we are facing fundamental changes in the world that will deeply affect america's security and standard of living. the list of such changes as long, but its starts in asia with the rise of china and india . economic, political and military powers. the obama administration has conspicuously an ounce to pick it to asia.
at the center of this pivot is china which exists says both an adversary to a surge in u.s. interest and a fellow traveller sharing mutual goals and vulnerabilities on others. the ongoing challenge will be for the united states to discern sometimes issue by issue whether china is adversary or par. this calibration will impact america's relations with the rest of asia and may ultimately determine prospects for war or peace in this world. while visiting indonesia thailand and the philippines in october i was reminded of the economic vitality of southeast asia and the fact that the ten countries comprising represent the fourth largest export market of the united states. these countries are center stage for the circumstances with china .
we must stand firm with our friends throughout asia and actively pursue prospects for free trade and open sea lanes and other policies that will strengthen america's economic growth. more broadly we face the specter of global resource constraint especially deficiencies of energy and food that can stimulate conflict and deepen poverty. we have made startling gains in domestic energy production. we remain highly vulnerable still to our dependency on oil. perhaps equally important even if we are able to produce more energy we cannot isolate ourselves from energy driven sharks to the global economy. in other words, we have to cooperate with other nations and improve the global system of manufacturing and moving and supplies. currently a key to this is helping to ensure the completion
of the senate energy corridor serving central and southeastern europe and unleashing our own natural gas export to address the energy vulnerability of our closest allies. a potential crisis over food production as well overstood. as research is opening any new frontiers productivity will not keep up with projected food demand and less many countries change their policies. this starts with a much wider embrace of agriculture technology including genetically modified techniques. lists of climate change intensify. even as we deal with potential resource constraints our country remains vulnerable through terrorism and asymmetric warfare.
access to the internet and social media has deeply altered social politics. in most cases for the better. also contributed instability. intensifying risks of cyber attacks, espionage, and a proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. the potential catastrophe remains of the major terrorist attack on american. employing weapons of mass destruction. if that happens in addition to the lives lost expectations for economic growth and budget balancing could be set back even a decade and more. having devoted considerable time to this problem my experience is that there are no silver bullets. protecting the united states from weapons of mass destruction is a painstaking process.
every day we must employ our best technological diplomatic and military tools. we must maintain the competitiveness of the united states international community. we should see education energy efficiency access to global markets the attraction of the immigrant entrepreneurs, and other factors as national security issues. my own view is that the fundamentals of american society still offer us the best hand to play in global competitiveness. no other country can match the quality and variety of our post secondary education. we have the broadest scientific and technological base of the most advanced ever grocer system . our population is younger and more mobile than most other industrialized nations. we still can flourish in this global marketplace if we nurtured the competitive genius
of the american people that has allowed us time and time again to reinvent our economy. but we must deal with failures of governments that have delayed resolutions to out these problems. no rational strategy for our long-term growth and security should fail to restrain current entitlement spending. no attempt to gain the maximum strategic advantage from our human resource potential should fail to enact comprehensive immigration reform that resolve the status of undocumented immigrants and encourages the most talented immigrants to contribute to america's future. faced with immense responsibilities, there is a need to elevate our senate debate. it is vital that the president and congress establish a closer working relationship especially
on national security. this is not just a matter of process. it is necessary to up under go national security in the event of severe crisis such as war or another catastrophic terrorist attack. this cooperation depends on congressional leaders who are willing to set aside partisan advantage and on administration officials to understand the benefits of having the support of congress being worth the effort it takes to secure a. currently the national security dialogue between the presidents and congress in my judgment is one of the least destructive i have ever witnessed. there is little foundation to resolve national-security or even the expectation that this can occur. but for the next september 11 the president must be willing to call republicans to the oval office to establish the basis for a working partnership in foreign policy. republicans must be willing to
spend reflexive opposition that serve no purpose but to limit their role in strategic questions and the cooperation all parties should recognize the need for unity in the coming year when events may test the american national security in extreme waste. i commend each of you my senate colleagues, for the commitment that led you to stand for election to the united states senate to begin with. running for office is a difficult endeavor that is usually accompanied by great personal risk and cost. each one of you is capable of being a positive force for changing the tone of debate now country. each one of you has a responsibility not only to act with integrity and represent your constituents but also to make the informed and imaginative choices on which
good governments for our country depends. i am optimistic about our country's future. i believe that both internal divisions and external threats can be overcome. the united states will continue to serve as the inspiration for people seeking peace, freedom and economic prosperity. the united states senate to the end will be at the forefront of this advancement. may we seek each day the wisdom and the will to do our best and the governance of our country and may god continue to bless the united states of america. i yield the floor. >> the senator from indiana. >> in service of senator richard lugar and to pay tribute to his
legacy i have served alongside him as a junior senator from indiana tonight giving my tour to tours of service here in the united states senate. all of us who seek public service want to make a difference. and certainly senator lugar has done that. at an early age she developed a passion for knowledge. a native of indianapolis u.s. valedictorian at shorter ties cool. then and still a distinguished institution. one of our four members is also a graduate of short rage high-school. he went on to become valedictorian of college money graduated from denison university with a degree in economics